Why are most Afghans who are fleeing, going to neighboring countries?

Children pose for photographs in front of their tents at a camp for internally displaced families in Panjwai district of Kandahar province on March 31, 2021. (Photo by JAVED TANVEER / AFP) (Photo by JAVED TANVEER/AFP via Getty Images)

Did you know that a majority of the refugees from the Middle East live in the region? Lebanon & Jordan host millions of people who have fled war, conflict or other disasters. There are an estimated 1.5 million Syrians in Lebanon, for example. In Pakistan, the story is similar : about three million Afghans reside… Continue reading Why are most Afghans who are fleeing, going to neighboring countries?

Does giving free money work?

One of my students in my Nonprofit Management class pointed out  ‘Give a man a Fish’ by James Ferguson on the (controversial) idea of a universal basic income (UBI). This has been an ongoing debate in the world of development studies. The premise is simple : Give the poor enough money so they don’t have… Continue reading Does giving free money work?

The trinity of nonprofit sector: Time to revisit some assumptions?

The trinity of transparency, accountability and efficiency are also at play in the world of public health. In the book Governing Global Health by Chelsea Clinton and Devi Sridhar, that I am reading now, this theme comes up time and again. They both argue that among the various organizations that they have studied in the… Continue reading The trinity of nonprofit sector: Time to revisit some assumptions?

Can celebrity philanthropy be harmful?

Remember the ads in which Angelina Jolie comes out and shames the world for ignoring the plight of refugees?  Or the Bono concert for helping AIDS victims? While each of them has done incredible good in the world, there is an argument out there; and it is a fairly strong one that goes like this:… Continue reading Can celebrity philanthropy be harmful?

Are corporations going to save America?

With the recent Executive Order banning entry of people from seven Middle Eastern countries, the nation is in uproar. This order also includes refugees, who were fleeing violence and oppression in Syria, among other countries. The fact that several companies such as Lyft and Starbucks have stepped up and spoken out against this order is… Continue reading Are corporations going to save America?

How to measure what matters : Nonprofit management 101

The nonprofit industry is obsessed with one thing : measurement. For those who do research or are involved in actual program delivery in the nonprofit sector, this desire to ‘measure spoons’ as Alnoor Ebrahim, a Harvard University professor calls it, can translate into a variety of things. There are a great many metrics that are… Continue reading How to measure what matters : Nonprofit management 101

How to fix the world – Use your head or heart?

Climate change. Refugee crisis. Unemployment.  Poverty.  Think of these issues or any other countless ‘wicked’ problems and if you are reasonable, like most people; one question sounds in your head: “Do we know all the facts?”. Do we know the ‘right’ approach to fix these issues?  While the ‘facts’ are available to address and solve… Continue reading How to fix the world – Use your head or heart?

Philanthropy: Where Marxism and Islam agree

Marxism can be considered the exact mirror opposite of Islamic values, when it comes to ideas of materialism. On surface, this statement seems true. While Karl Marx’s idea of society can be considered purely materialistic, and his notions of political economy deeply rooted in notions of wealth, Islam is a more egalitarian and ‘socialist’ system,… Continue reading Philanthropy: Where Marxism and Islam agree

Musings on Amtrak: Seth Meyers, Lynchburg and my travel disability

I am off to India by way of Morocco. This is a modest attempt at following one of my heroes – Ibn Battuta – a Moroccan traveler and scholar, who lived in the 14th century. Why is he my hero? for that you must watch this fascinating talk. In short, this scholar-traveler did about 73,000… Continue reading Musings on Amtrak: Seth Meyers, Lynchburg and my travel disability

Lessons in Foreign Policy from Food Cart Vendors

“Cairo, very good city. You go there?” queried the young Egyptian juice vendor, as I was attempting to buy a mixed berry juice, while waiting for my turn to enter the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Another food cart vendor, who was a Syrian pointed out the similarities in spices in India and the Arab… Continue reading Lessons in Foreign Policy from Food Cart Vendors